Historian Victor Davis Hanson Lectures at Hillsdale College
Hanson gives public lecture about American citizenship as part of Distinguished Fellows Lecture Series
Hillsdale, Mich. — Victor Davis Hanson, distinguished classicist, military historian, and Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College, gave a public lecture titled “The Dying Citizen” on Sept. 8, in Plaster Auditorium. The lecture was part of the Distinguished Fellows Lecture Series and concluded Hanson’s time on campus teaching a three-credit course titled, “The Second World Wars — Origins, Means, and Results.”
Guests enjoyed dinner before the lecture, which outlined America’s contemporary crises in the context of history, culture, and citizenship.
“People wonder what is going on in the United States,” said Hanson. “I think it’s a destruction of the idea of a citizen — us.”
Hanson discussed the origins of citizenry, the importance of borders in inculcating a cultural and social aspect that reinforces constitutional government, the perils of globalism, and how the current woke movement is a top-down phenomenon that conservatives must not bow to.
“The woke movement is an elite-driven drive for the spoils of America camouflaged as if America is culpable,” he said. “And this wokeness has an antecedent. We saw it with the Jacobins and the French Revolution. We saw it with the Bolsheviks. We saw it with Mao Zedong’s cultural revolution that killed 70 million people.
Hanson argued that the American people have nothing to apologize for and that ours is a noble tradition that we must stand up for, rejecting cancel culture, especially as the country approaches midterm elections. Conservatives have not shown themselves to be activists up to this point but, according to Hanson, must start saying no.
“You can call me whatever you want,” said Hanson. “It has zero effect on me. Do your worst. I’ll do my best. We all have to come out of the shadows. It’s an empowered citizenry that is the majority. You’re not the minority, and you’re not crazy.”
Hanson’s lecture comes on the cusp of his latest book, “The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America” (Basic Books), which can be pre-ordered now and will release on Oct. 5, 2021. Find more information here.
“Victor Davis Hanson has been a very popular classroom professor every autumn for nearly two decades,” said Mark Kalthoff, dean of faculty and Henry Salvatori Chair in History. “As the author or editor of two dozen books, Hanson possesses remarkable scholarly breadth and versatility that make his classes interesting and exciting for so many Hillsdale students.”
Hanson’s Fall 2021 course included eight intensive, 3.5-hour class sessions covering the entire Second World War.
Hanson teaches at California State University, Fresno, and Stanford University, and is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. Hanson is the author or editor of many books, including “Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom” (with John Heath, Free Press, 1998); and “The Soul of Battle” (Free Press, 1999). He is a regular contributor to American Greatness and a visiting professor at Hillsdale College.